April 16, 2024   8 MIN READ

TD Reaper

DeVonta Smith's 10-Best Career TDs


DeVonta Smith this week became the latest young Philadelphia Eagles star to agree to a contract extension this offseason, joining a group that includes left tackle Jordan Mailata and left guard Landon Dickerson.

Smith, who signed a three-year extension that adds to his two remaining years, has eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in his last two seasons after setting an Eagles rookie record in 2021 with 916 yards to go along with five touchdown catches on 64 receptions.

Devonta Smith

GETTY IMAGES: WR DeVonta Smith became the latest Eagle to sign a blockbuster extension.

The Eagles picked him 10th overall in 2021, moving up two spots in the draft, to secure the former Alabama superstar receiver. A year later the team traded for Pro Bowl wideout A.J. Brown, who has surpassed 1,400 receiving yards in each of his two seasons with the team.

For the Eagles to have Smith and Pro Bowl wideout A.J. Brown playing together for the past two years, and into the future, is a seminal moment for a franchise that has long struggled to pair elite receivers in any given season.

In honor of Smith’s extension, we came up with the top 10 touchdown catches of his three-year career:

No. 10: Playoff Plunge

We start with Smith’s first career postseason touchdown. He took quick swing pass from Jalen Hurts on the right side and actually got some nice lead blocking from Brown before breezing past Nick McCloud (44) and bowling through safety Julian Love (20) before plunging into the end zone for a 9-yard score that built the Bird lead to 14-0 in a 38-7 route. Not as much skill on this TD catch but surely good play strength for a receiver who doesn’t even top 180 pounds.

No. 9: Titanic Catch

Next we have Smith showing his long speed on a deep post against Titans cornerback Roger McCreary for a 34-yard first-quarter touchdown that broke a scoreless tie. You have to appreciate Smith’s ability to catch the ball in front of McCreary at the Tennessee 2, stop, and plow through the Titans DB to finish off the final yards of the touchdown, the start of a 35-10 Eagles romp.

No. 8: Good “Choice”

Here, Smith is working from the slot against the Giants in a 2023 game the Eagles won, 33-25. He beats Giants nickel Cor’Dale Flott on a “choice” route, working Flott outside-in to reel in a well-placed pass from Hurts. Smith catches the ball in stride around the New York 25-yard-line and effortlessly turns upfield and heads toward the near left corner of the end zone, where a nifty escape from Flott’s last-gasp diving attempt at his ankles and a little blocking help from Olamide Zaccheaus complete the big play.

No. 7: Dazzling Debut

Smith wasted no time getting his first career catch and touchdown, and in a familiar place. In the 2021 season opener against the Falcons at Mercedez Benz Stadium – where Smith and Alabama won two SEC titles (including 15-184, 2 TD vs. Florida) and a natty (41-yard game-winning TD catch vs. Georgia) – Smith caught both the first touchdown of his career and the first touchdown of the Nick Sirianni era on a scissors route. As the inside receiver on the left side of a 2×3 spread formation, Smith wiggled past Falcons corner Fabian Moreau, who got caught in the wash, and reeled in the 18-yard score from Hurts with relative ease. He finished with a game-high 71 yards on six catches.

No. 6: Thread The Needle

After catching a TD in his debut as a rookie, Smith had to wait eight more weeks for his second, but it was worth the wait as he caught a 28-yarder against the Chargers in Week 8 in a 27-24 loss. Lined up split wide on the left side against a Cover 3 look, Smith worked inside Chris Harris’ off coverage to catch a deep post between Harris and safety Nasir Adderly at the Los Angeles 6-yard line and somehow maneuvered past both defensive backs to finish off the touchdown that tied the game at 24-24 in the fourth quarter.

No. 5: Anything But Bland

Any win over the Cowboys is a good win for Eagles fans. They only beat Dallas once in 2023, the first matchup, and Smith delivered the lead in third quarter with a 29-yard touchdown catch against DaRon Bland. Smith fended off press-man coverage from the All Pro corner and gained just enough separation to reel in a perfectly thrown ball by Hurts to Smith’s lead shoulder. That it came on the road against Dallas, in a win, is as significant as the concentration and acumen shown against the tight coverage.

No. 4: The Toe Tap

The Eagles won this game against the Giants easily, 34-10 in Week 6 of Smith’s rookie season, but the degree of difficulty in both formational usage and the actual catch make this a top-5 TD catch for Smith. He lines up in an offset H-back formation on the left side of scrimmage and motions across the line of scrimmage at the snap of an RPO. After Hurts fakes the handoff, he ducks to his right and waits as Smith leaks out, takes a shove from safety Xavier McKinney (his former ‘Bama teammate) and stays on his feet to beat McKinney to the right side of the end zone, where he catches Hurts’ pass and toe-taps the sideline before his momentum takes him out of bounds for the touchdown. It’s an elite toe-tap with McKinney colliding into him as he corrals one of longest-developing 4-yard TD catches you’ll ever see.

No. 3: Fourth And … What?

Move over, Boston Scott. We have another Giants slayer developing. Smith’s second touchdown against the team’s turnpike rivals came in his second season, and under the craziest of circumstances as Sirianni, only up 7-0, decided to leave his offense on the field on 4th-and-7 at the New York 41. Hey, no biggie – just have Hurts’ heave on a smash route to Smith land in Smith’s outstretched hands while a) Giants nickel Darnay Holmes is lunging at his ankles; and b) Giants safety Julian Love is coming within mere inches of an interception. Neither Holmes nor Love could stop the connection, and after making the leaping catch, Smith found nothing but 15 yards of green to complete the 41-yard TD catch for the 14-0 lead as the Eagles cruised to the 48-22 romp.

No. 2: The High Point

Continuing a trend of Smith abusing division rivals … in Week 3 of his second season against Washington, Smith reeled in eight catches for 169 yards, still a career best. His two-yard touchdown helped build a 14-0 lead in a 24-8 thrashing, and the catch was a thing of beauty as “Slim Reaper” showcased elite high-pointing ability, turning back toward the ball and out-leaping Washington corner Kendall Fuller – in mid-air –  in the back-left corner of the end zone for the 2-yard TD catch.

No. 1: Mile High Magnificence

Hurts learned pretty early in Smith’s rookie season that, sometimes, he just needs to chick it up and have faith. Smith rewarded his QB’s trust in Week 10 against the Broncos in Denver – where the Eagles hadn’t won since 1998 – by out-jumping Patrick Surtain, another former college teammate, in the front corner of the end zone for a 36-yard touchdown in the first quarter that put the Eagles up 10-0 in a game they won, 30-13. The pump-and-go on the right side didn’t really shake Surtain, who stuck Smith for the entire route only to watch Smith launch himself skyward around the 4-yard-line and pivot mid-air to win the contested catch as he tumbled into the end zone. Play speed, play strength, high-pointing, concentration, hands – Smith showcased all those assets on the TD grab that helped the Eagles finally get over the Mile High malaise of more than 20 years.

– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the β€œInside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.

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